This Week In Reaction (2017/08/27)

PA has an appropriate farewell for Ryan Landry: “Be A Lighthouse”. More on that below.

Cody Wilson stops over at Jacobite to comment on Silicon Valley Struggle Sessions. Wilson discusses the Damore and Charlottesville affairs, as well as the need to build alternatives to various tech platforms.

VDH opines on The Silliest Generation—three guesses and the first two don’t count. My old Tale of Two Ancestor Myths is relevant. He also has a reply to an “Angry Reader”… The SPLC. If in fact they have actually read him at all.

Let’s see… what else was going on?


This Week in Jim Donald

This Week in Social Matter

This Week in 28 Sherman

This Week in Kakistocracy

This Week in Evolutionist X

This Week in Quas Lacrimas

This Week in Thermidor

This Week around The Orthosphere

This Week in Arts & Letters

This Week in the Outer Left

This Week Elsewhere

Alf takes note of the The most liked tweet on twitter. And the astounding hypocrisy thereof. Also comments on the post-Charlottesville Lukewarm war and why it cannot remain so.

Over at the Generative Anthropology blog, Adam looks into Trump’s Process of Inquiry. He thinks we’ll be talking about fascism for awhile, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But there’s the law and order (i.e., good) kind, and then there’s the “left’s spectral folk fascism” with ready made solutions to fix the disorders brought about by… the left. But about President Trump…

Donald Trump,Melania Trump,Barron Trump,Ivanka TrumpTrump may get to the point where he realizes he has to use all the (really quite considerable) legal means at his disposal to cauterize all the wounds being salted by the left or he will, eventually, be removed from power, one way or another, or at best neutralized (and it doesn’t look like his enemies are going to be too particular about the means). Trump’s form of learning or probing seems to be to make innocuous statements and introduce unexceptional initiatives (generally in favor of law and order, public safety, our unity as Americans, etc.), see who attacks them, and then polarize discourse around that enmity. It’s a good strategy—how can you tell what your enemies are up to without engaging them, stirring them up, setting them in motion, and it’s smart to do so in a way that forces them to show as much of their hand as possible. The next step, though, which Trump always seems to be on the threshold of, is to flip the means the enemy is using back against them. For example, there is a special prosecutor looking into non-existent Russian influence on the 2016 election. Why not, in the spirit of “both sides share the blame,” appoint special prosecutors to look into the funding of Antifa and BLM, both criminal enterprises? Use civil forfeiture laws to confiscate the assets of the foundations funding both? Why not special prosecutors and/or FBI investigations into groups that are inciting violence, like the Southern Poverty Law Center or, for that matter, the Anti-Defamation League?

Adam offers many more completely plausible moves in this ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀. President Trump, I hope you’re reading!

Spandrell has an update on the Babies watch. And he has news for The Derb about Bucolic Japan. Also, for the LOLzes: Asian Public PR.

Parallax Optics Progressivism: Neo-Religion of the Contemporary Art World—and the everything else world as well. Definitely fires on all cylinders… For example:

The fact is that contemporary artists fail to comprehend the inherently religious nature of progressive ideology, and because of this they fail to perceive how their own thoughts are circumscribed by progressivism, to the point of epistemic closure. It’s important to notice that “radical” or “political” contemporary artists all cluster to the Left, a position from which it is safe to criticise the State for being insufficiently progressive. Positioning themselves as holier than the State enables contemporary artists to signal their radical political credentials safely, without actually putting themselves, or their career prospects, at risk.

Indeed, it is possible to travel a considerable distance to the radical left without facing any formal, legal or social consequences as a result of your political beliefs or actions. Move a fraction to the right of the Overton Window, however, and you are potentially in for a very bad time—exposed to the strong possibility of real-world consequences courtesy of your political adversaries’ anti-heretic torture kit.

He gets some extra lift from Scott Alexander as well as Lucia Diego of LD50. As well as our old friend Karl Friedrich Boetel. Here’s some more:

Interior-of-MeetinghouseContra to the rose-tinted perspective of its adherents, progressivism isn’t comprised of universal moral truths discovered by a combination of science and the application of pure, unbiased rational thinking. It is a hyper-predatory, neo-religious ideological system, highly evolved and weaponised to snuff out ideological competition. Despite progressivism’s insistence on its universal applicability, which appears superficially plausible precisely because of its contemporary transnational dominance, it is in fact highly spatio-temporo-culturally specific, to the point of idiosyncrasy—nothing like it has existed at any other point in history.

Do pay Mr. Optics a visit and RTWT! This was an Editors’ Pick for the ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Silver Circle Award☀.

The Rebbe explains why it’s not the Jews qua Jews, but Sabbatean-Frankism as the Paradigm of the Modern Left. I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds pretty Jewy.” But if you don’t hear him out honestly, well… that wouldn’t be very white of you. He’s got a long-held thesis on this problem, with a lot of supporting data. It’s good to see it set down in one place.

And Alrenous has Michael Hudson explain how In the United States today, financial fraud is de-criminalized.

Imperial Energy identifies some (presumably tongue-in-cheek) Theological Implications Resulting from the Existence of Adolf Hitler.

Not tongue-in-cheek, IE publishes the next installment of his STEEL-cameralist Manifesto: Part 4C2: American Fascism (Reactionaries on the Nature of Fascism). Starring Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. And N.T. Carlsbad inter alia.

Atavisionary analyzes how Google declares war on wrongthink.

Friend of Social Matter, Anatoly Karlin, had a piece on the extent to which different U.S. racial groups support free speech. Nick Land had an observation about this one, pointing out something that one probably would not have expected. Anatoly’s conclusion is not a happy one.

Once the First Amendment is annulled in the US, or riddled with multifarious exceptions to the point where it is but an empty formality, the Enlightenment ideal of absolute free speech vanishes everywhere else in the world.

By way of Isegoria… The Greeks had to learn civilization all over again; a few awkward racial findings; for those with a stomach for it: Eating raw marine mammals isn’t the same as eating cooked land mammals; Researchers have quantified Muhammad Ali’s mental decline with remarkable (at least apparent) accuracy; and old Viking Fortresses in Denmark.

Finally, this week in Cambria Will Not Yield, an imprecation on The Devils of Liberaldom. Liberals of the left and right.


This Week in Jim Donald

This was a comparatively busy week from Jim, with five pieces of varying length and intensity, so let’s get into it. First up was a piece on Red Guards and Cultural Revolution. As a side note, isn’t it interesting how only people in the dissident right were making comparisons between USA 2017 and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and now it is seeping into the mainstream? Really activates my almonds. Anyway, Jim reminds us of the most crucial fact about the left singularity that we are entering: it has no brakes. The only way it ends is if someone takes power and forcefully ends it.

Three years ago, after World War Trans, people said, “OK, one more unconditional and total capitulation by the right, and then we will be able to live in peace.

But today we have red guards and a cultural revolution.

Jim earned an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for this one. RTWT! And before you dismiss Jim’s prognostications as outlandish, ask yourself how you would react if 2017-you were to describe the Current Year to, say, 2007-you. This is 2017, imagine what 2021 will be like, regardless of whether or not Trump is re-elected.

Jim also had commentary on one of the bigger recent events for the President, the never ending war in Afghanistan and Trump’s commitment to it.

8af106e04f521df10977e70232148b34How do you win an Afghan war?

It is not hard: You need a genuinely Islamic strong monarch who can accomplish the difficult job of keeping order, and let him know that if trouble comes out of Afghanistan and reaches you, he is going to die.

The problem with our existing war is that it is a holy war, fought to emancipate women in Afghanistan, and to destroy conservative Islam, not to create order under the control of someone who can be held responsible for any trouble coming out of Afghanistan. If you are going to fight a holy war against a live religion, need to kill huge numbers of people and level their cities, which we are reluctant to do – although if they were white Christians, I am sure there would be no hesitation.

Afghanistan has an average IQ of 84, which certainly beats out every sub-Saharan African country, but is probably definitely too low to maintain Western-style institutions. But maybe, just maybe, they could keep order in their country if allowed to implement the institutions most congenial to their character and given… strong… incentives.

Also, Jim has created the ultimate slogan against the Afghanistan war. While it is the policy of Social Matter that rallies are bad, feminizing, fattening, and cause cancer in rats (we take the same view on soy), if you should find yourself at an anti-Afghan-war rally, your sign should definitely say: “Too many Americans have died in order that Afghan girls can be taught how to put a condom on a banana!”

Surprisingly, given the weightiness of the topic, censorship of the internet earned only a short post. He echoes Pax’s and Vox Day’s pleas for alt-tech, and Exit from the communist companies squeezing the Internet to fit into a SocJus mold. If you’re not using, Infogalactic, Hatreon, DuckDuckGo, and the eagerly anticipated Counter.Fund, what are you even doing?

Revisiting a frequent topic of discussion in our broader sphere, Jim reminds us: no enemies to the right.

If you declare someone to your right your enemy, you wind up dancing to a tune called by leftists.

Jim uses that principle to discuss some of Vox Day’s criticism of Richard Spencer for being too accommodating to socialism…. so, RTWT!

Last, but by no means least, was a piece on the threatened imprisonment of Sheriff Joe. Typically, this is not about one man, but is indicative of broader trends.

Trump is losing or firing his strongest loyalists, and surrounding himself with people who intend his destruction. He rather should surround himself with people who intend Trump and his descendants to remain in power permanently.

People are going to tell me that imprisoning and killing the Trumps is unthinkable. It is unthinkable in 2017, but a whole lot of things were thinkable in 2016 that were unthinkable in 2008, and imprisoning Sheriff Joe was one of those things.

This too was an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀. I don’t want to end up quoting only half a paragraph, so go RTWT if only for the final paragraph. It is one of the most important single paragraphs Jim has written on Trump to date.


This Week in Social Matter


A gaping hole was made by Ryan Landry’s departure from the electronic sphere. No atomic clock accurate kick-off for the TWiR Week on Sunday this week.

Anthony DeMarco, E. Antony Gray, and I were joined by reactionary strategist, mover, and shaker Michael Perilloux in the triumphant return of our podcast: Descending The Tower—12: Restoration. We answer listener questions and exchange the usual witty repartee.

And the West Coast Guys are joined by Titus Flavius for the Myth of the 20th Century podcast: Episode 32: Silicon Valley, The Shadow Of Technocratic Control. They also had a verbal shitpoast pilot Mot20C—After Dark Edition here: Right or Left—a False Dialectic? Just like Mot20C, except with moar liquor.

Social Matter turned less podcasty later in the week, with a contribution from our old friend Bill Marchant: Impossible Ideas: What To Do After Charlottesville. It’s chock full of ideas that just. won’t. work. Because they’re so eminently feasible. Bill snags an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ from the parsimonious hands of The Committee.

Finally for Saturday Poetry & Prose, Lawrence Glarus has some very lovely verse: A Death In Saint Paul.


This Week in 28 Sherman

This is it, folks. The final week of 28 Sherman. I [Egon Maistre, tho’ NBS would admit it too] am quite man enough to admit that I had a lump in my throat every time I saw a new piece from Ryan show up, knowing it might be his last. He leaves us with five entries this week, each well worthy of note even in a normal week. But this is no ordinary week. And the last pair are two all-time greats.

On Monday, Landry examined the state of Honda and determines Honda is a wreck.

Honda’s late announcement on self driving cars is par for the course for their consistent belief that they are the geniuses and do not need to answer the market or anticipate the market. Honda is fantastic at building engines. That is their edge that when applied to cars and trucks became a huge advantage due to reliability. They also did not have to deal with the legacy employee costs that American automakers suffered from due to collective bargaining agreements.

But even Honda’s vaunted advantage in reliability has started to slip through their fingers.

Ford GT is damn cool car.

Ford GT is damn cool car.

Honda watched though as Ford closed the gap on reliability. Honda (and Toyota) have even had hiccups recently to mar their reputations as more reliable. The new versions of their steady selling cars are worse than the old ones and are priced higher. When they roll out new vehicles, they flop partly due to aesthetics and partly due to ‘who wants to buy this’. That Japanese government help though carries them forward, limiting the need for change Honda needs to enact systematically.

In a rare post on Tuesday, Landry wades into the trans fix none dare propose. Before offering the fix, of course he must address the problem, and it’s not what you’d think if you listen to the Cathedral.

The transsexual community is incredibly small. Under 1% of Americans are trans. The gender fluid or trans poseurs crowd on Tumblr is just the crowd that in 1995 would have been goth. What the trans push is really is an attack on the basic gender assumptions and on mentally persuadable crowds. The goal is destruction of Western civilization norms, and even just peeling off 1-2% additional of the core West (hetero white) crowd, the system can shrink the challenge group it fears.

Not just them but their direct family. How many people vote for the Left that decreed gays or blacks glorious victim populations solely because they had a family member of that group that could 24/7 play on heartstrings or give them a chance to do the good deed and get the status bump within their family? In 2012, gays rights and free birth control was the rally cry for a chunk of single white women. This targets that elastic voter crowd.

I won’t quote the actual fix Landry proposes, so I encourage you to see for yourself. But a trigger warning for the more sensitive among you: the trans fix none dare propose consists of common sense. RTWT… but have your fainting couches at the ready.

As the WW1 pics series wrapped up last week, there wasn’t a new one for Thursday. But Ryan continued the military theme with a meditation on Jews, the IDF, and what it means to be American. The ideas here shouldn’t be unfamiliar to any regular SM readers, but rarely have they all been presented so succinctly.

If American means anyone on US soil, then Jews can flit back and forth with their ‘fellow white people’ act. If the definition of an America is not the washed up on the shore wretched refuse from anywhere, then the identity would have to be mapped out and hardened. For a nation that was 85% white of European ancestry right up until the 1960s, it is easy to configure. While Jews will always feel like outsiders, they will admit to being phenotypically able to pass as white….

It is time to choose and decide where their loyalties lie and act on them. Even suffering from massive media brainwashing, many Americans know their identity as an American. The identity crisis causing the current media meltdown just must be located in the heart of American Jews. Aliyah or America.

Returning to a format that has served him well, Ryan offers us a transcript of Nixon’s last call. This is probably my favorite call between Ryan and Nixon, if only for the following wisdom from our former president.

It’s community kid. It’s always community. That’s what has been destroyed. Everyone is desperate for it. That’s why they use the Internet to form these little subcultures. They hunger for a sense of belonging but are too brainwashed to admit that their individualism is a source of pain. Lucky if they know 4 grandparents now. Hopefully they’ll have two parents or a sibling.

This earned an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ on the strength of Nixon-voice alone.

And, finally, on Friday, Ryan Landry penned his last post. The phrase “end of an era” gets thrown around too often, but is more than appropriate here. There are any number of readers and writers of Social Matter who would not be here without Ryan’s influence, and it is my fervent hope that he realizes that fact. It just wouldn’t be a week at 28 Sherman without some homespun Landry advice, so here it is.


tumblr_nt12l37WxL1r83d7lo9_1280We have to stop being keyboard warriors and make small changes that we can repeat all across our nation to make real change. We can’t do it bottom up though. We need tangible results to present to any elite that this is a bad course we are on, and it must change. Why would they want to rule ashes? That’s what their adherence to the prog system is. It’s power but it’s civilizational suicide. We can only find a patron if we have something tangible to show them. We have ideas, we need programs and we need the practice.

The storm is growing. Be a lighthouse.

For myself, I can say that I will aspire to be the lighthouse that Ryan wants to see in our sphere. This was an easy choice for The Committee: ☀☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Award☀☀. Mr. Landry, again, you will be sorely missed out here.

Ultimately, I think Anthony DeMarco had the best response to Ryan’s final post, so I’ll let him close it out.



This Week in Kakistocracy

Porter is chomping at the bit this week, and straight out of the gate he has a Molotov Cocktail ready to lob the way of Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who felt the need to remind his employees of “The Role We Play” in diversifying America. Of course…

Walmart additionally has joint ventures in China. Thus I do hope the CEO clearly expresses his intention to diversify the major cities away from their traditional Han majority when he is next supping with his hosts in Peking. Imagine explaining that your company’s sacred role is to lower the population percentage of those people foolish enough to embrace your business. As in every aspect of modernity’s inverted morality, placing its presumptions outside our borders immediately cast them into absurdity.

Next, Porter laments the descent of A Plague in La Paz. Being an open-hearted citizen of the world, he can’t help but sympathize:

I do this because I infer from media coverage that they are not sentient actors within their own society. Instead they innocently suffer the entropy that occurs routinely in their presence. For example, Amerinds (and truthfully brown people everywhere) are “plagued by violence.” Why does violence specifically choose them to plague? Google should deplatform violence for targeting the world’s 6+ billion minorities.

Then Porter has some commentary on The Debt. No, not that one. We’re talking about the tribute that vice pays to virtue. Hypocrisy:

1dccaa4a89b64f104ca00c7236c8094e--american-presidents-american-historyIf leftists actually believed their yearnings weren’t moral filth then there would be no reason to disparage what they advocate as a myth. Hypocrites preach fidelity while cheating; liberals preach fantasy while doing. The quoted writer is openly thrilled at the prospect of there being no whites, and convinced it will come to pass. But he dismisses his own certainty as myth. He does this because he needs a mirror that doesn’t reflect a monstrosity. And that means weíre definitely not doing what we’re definitely going to do.

And finally, Porter takes note that A Strange Courage Grows in the West these days. Except it isn’t courage:

In 1941 FDR didn’t say WE ARE NOT AFRAID while hugging Hirohito and acquiescing to imperial garrisons in Kansas City. He did what not afraid has historically entailed: he fought the Japanese—even the ones who didn’t personally bomb Pearl Harbor. It is only recently that bootlicking and obliviousness have come to be called bravery.

If I saw my neighbors leave their young children unattended in the street, I would feel little admiration for their backbone if they explained WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF TRAFFIC.


This Week in Evolutionist X

It has now become a regular thing: Evolutionist X’s “Homeschooling Corner“. This week: The Things we Played. And I like sound of that. After 20+ years of homeschooling, the “things you play” are the things they’re gonna learn.

Also on Sunday, Mrs. X’s attention turns back to HBD and The Negritos of Sundaland, Sahul, and the Philippines. And there’s more where that came from: Some Historical Photos of Negrito People.

And for Pirate Friday this week, she has an exposé on Alwilda, Avery, and Rahmah ibn Jabir. Awilda appears to have been a legendary pirate-ess no less. Perhaps literally legendary, but legends make for best storytelling. And Jabir was the first documented pirate to wear an eye-patch.

And make the a Homeschooling Corner two-fer this week… This latest Sunday, Evolutionist X tackles What is Educational? Just about everything, of course… to the appropriately curious mind.

d5cc5606e1bf211a8a2dfc2c4f3968ad--grow-your-own-crystals-growing-crystalsThe youngest child has been really into rocks and crystals lately; at this age, they’re still fascinated by freezing cups of water to make ice. A little food coloring (rainbow ice!) fresh mint leaves, flowers, whatever you want to add makes the ice extra interesting; add salt for a lesson about icebergs and the ocean. I don’t know if this is really educational, but it’s fun.

The rest of our time has been focused primarily on regular old rote material–times tables, multi-digit addition and subtraction, handwriting, typing, spelling, etc. Luckily these skills are pretty flexible and so can be taught to multiple kids at different levels. Competitive multiplication games (try to call out the answer first!) work well in our household.

Especially true if you’re the sort of parent who enjoys competitive games and/or multiplication.


This Week in Quas Lacrimas

The other day, Quincy T. Latham was tinkering around in his dusty papers stack and unearthed: Erasmus’ Spawn. Heretics, conversos, and thots, O My! This leads to many practical applications… if you wanna institute a state religion. And we wanna.

His Big Think™ Piece of the Week: Why does memetic history matter? As he’s been alluding for months, Latham goes beyond mere Moldbug in the search for the origins… of the Poz… He sees the Right (i.e., the Reactionary Right) as suffering from theories that explain too much:

[M]any troubling symptoms of social decay are triple-“explained” by leftism, genes, and you-know-who. The crypto-calvinist hypothesis is a working hypothesis within one theory about the nature of leftism. The best hope for a General Theory of Poz is to get that broader theory about the left so completely crisp, so clearly delineated that we can distinguish between where it works well, where it works poorly, and where it doesn’t work at all.

Unfortunately that theory is not presented. But the cocktail napkin sketch is starting to shape up. This garnered an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.

The Boston Free Speech “Rally” inspires Latham to make a key Observation: Tactics and Demonstrations. A good one. A little Tick Generation Warfare could help in the short to medium term.


This Week at Thermidor Mag

Over at our sister publication Thermidor, N. T. Carlsbad starts the week off with Rough Edges of the New Deal Revolution. Carlsbad take a break from his usual fare to serve up a survey of views, ideas, and personalities related to the New Deal.

Walter Devereux offers a Lament for the Passing of the Folktale, a meditation on the nature and value of folktales:

This is why the oral tradition of folktales is typically the mark of a healthy societyóbecause folktales are, by their definition, rarely written down; they sustain their value insofar as they maintain a connexion between the era of their origin and the contemporary era, so long as they still have meaning. They are a thread which holds the fabric of a healthy society together. As the society grows older, the threads come undone, and patch repairs (i.e. recording the folktales) become necessary. Likewise, once it is sapped of its power, the folktale is devilishly hard to reintroduce.

Next Gio Pennacchietti has a commentary on Moldbug: The Foulcauldian Cathedral. Pennacchietti is struck by the parallels between Moldbug’s and Foucault’s account of power and dispersed institutions—an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀:

alone_lonely_sad_photography_girl_abstract_hd-wallpaper-_KCuThe Cathedral operates in much the same manner as the modality of Pastoral power. One must confess to what is outside of the orthodox beliefs of the given meta-institutional framework and memeplex. An example Moldbug uses is the background assumption of modern democratic society: that equality is an ethical good and must be pursued even to all and any other detrimental factors, as a primary goal in society. The political programs of equality only come because of the institutional and social discourses that culminate in an objective political praxis. Therefore, a doctrine outside of the official Cathedral orthodoxy, in the example of equality, is possessing a doctrine or ideology that excludes egalitarian arguments and ethics. If one has a heretical worldview, one that does not honor the doctrine of modern egalitarian and cosmopolitan Cathedral orthodoxy, then one is a heretic that must confess their transgressions in order to receive proper correction in the forms of social ostracism, and in some cases literal re-education training.

Carlsbad finishes the week off as well with Monarchism in America, 1776-1800. The common view holds that America is quintessentially republican, but as in Rome, pro-monarchical feelings had currency at the outset. Carlsbad also brings to light several monarchist plots in the early republic. This too won an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.


This Week Around The Orthosphere

J.M. Smith applies Aristotelian definitions to the incident in Charlottesville: “Tragedy” or “Bloody Shirt”? Then he performs a deconstruction of white supremacy To Seek for Rule, Supremacy, and Sway.

A garbage collector is not, for instance, part of the ruling class, but he is part of the supreme group insofar as the official culture looks out for him especially, and especially embodies his sense of justice, beauty, nobility, and decency.
This garbage collector is by this supremacy privileged, and for this reason feels at home in the homeland of his group.

And according to Smith, “Divide and Conquer is what your overlords say behind closed doors. Diversity is Our Strength is what they say in the ‘roll out.'”

Bonald offers Some clarifications on censorship and the nature of free speech.

Because we reject viewpoint-neutrality, we don’t need to object to the way political correctness censors, only that some of the views it suppresses are true, while its own belief system is false. It is true, though, that PC operates in an unjust and lawless way. In fact, PC could become less objectionable if it were arranged more like the Spanish Inquisition.

Bonald also has thoughts regarding Seventeenth, the greatest of centuries, and exploratory vs. critical ages.

Up at Matt Briggs’ is a guest post by Bob Kurland: Sean Carroll’s “The Big Picture” Reviewed: Why “Poetic Naturalism” is an Oxymoron. From the Illimitable Ianto Watt: Would A Secret Society Lie? The Freemasons Part II. Then Briggs finds the Middle Ground Between Precautionary Principle & Inaction and posts his Insanity & Doom Update II, with news about the AAG, Cardinal Burke, sex robots and the Slender Man.

Mark Richardson looks the attack on Barcelona & the Cult of leftist protesters, suggests rebaptizing the c-word as “fellowship.”


This Week in Arts & Letters

920x920At City Journal this week, Nicole Gelinas takes stock of Houston, Inundated and makes the salient comparisons with NoLa’s Katrina. DJ Jaffe examines the latest op-ed in the push toward normalizing lunacy, patient, Heal Thyself. Robert Bryce discovers Cuomo’s climate agenda threatens the livelihoods of Long Island’s fishermen in Bonackers vs. Big Wind. Stefan Kanfer reminisces on the lost art of the painted paperback fiction cover as On-Ramps to the Canon. Meanwhile Clark Whelton testifies another milestone of digital disruption with the news that the Village Voice has gone web-only, as Fiber Yields to Cyber. In a review that might more properly belong in the Outer Left, William Voegeli weighs up Mark Lilla’s new tome against identity politics, finding, like its author, Liberals Shipwrecked by the increasing insanity of their single-issue focus. The 10 Blocks podcast wonders whether Generation X might be eclipsed altogether by tech-savvy millenials. Steven Malanga is concerned about the sizable poli-econ implications of Hollywood tax break arrangements: Show Me the Taxpayer’s Money. Nicole Gelinas returns with a brief history inscribed in the memorial plaques for the New York ticker tape parades: A Canyon of Heroes and Zeroes. And finally Stefan Kanfer with an obiturary of the late entertainer Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday aged 91, a A Vesuvius of Gestures and Pratfalls.

Richard Carroll this week writes a sequel of sorts in a review Tim O’Brien’s Going After Cacciato.

Chris Gale offers a Plea for hate speech; diagnoses Class war not race war; laments how educationalists ruin professional education; espies a warning in the fate of the Unitarians; wonders for whom is the time ripe, progressives or traditionalists?; and in a late re-shuffle, offers this week, two Friday poems.

Fencing Bear has a timely discourse on Education now it’s time to go Back to School. In an essay rich with the quickening of imagination set in motion by scholarship, she admirably exemplifies her theme:

For example, towns. I had never been terribly interested in towns. Monasteries, that was where all the cool stuff happened—liturgy and mysticism and prayer. Towns were just places where people bought and sold stuff and government happened. But then my study of the ways in which medieval Christians served the Virgin Mary took me to the image of her as the city of God, the place where God became present in creation—and suddenly towns were the most fascinating topic ever!

A sparkling essay, I recommend you RTWT! In spite of gratuitous Milo Devotion, this won a nod from The Committee: an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.

Over at Albion Awakening, Wildblood examines the The Problem of Susan in the Chronicles of Narnia and finds a lesson on the primacy of the spiritual as a lynchpin of one’s lifelong story.

I think CS Lewis was very wise in deciding that Susan was not going to make it to heaven when he had her preferring nylons and lipstick to Narnia thereby rejecting the spiritual world for the material one.


In a similar vein, Bruce Charlton makes the case, via a rejection of Rudolf Steiner’s prophecy, that the only way of accessing divine truth is through immediate experience.

Wildblood also of the virtueless Rebellion of the Left.

The Logos Club this week add another string to their manifold aesthetic bow with a selection of musical offerings: Signal to Noise, an ‘ode to free speech’; Machinik; Titan Soul’d; and Todeskopftanz, all produced by Kaiter Enless. Meanwhile Gio Pennacchietti explores the dark side of global wrestling and its dance with death defiance, The Modern Hunger Artists. An extreme albeit morbidly fascinating subject explored in scintillating detail here.

And Enless and Pennacchietti sit down in the first ever Logos Club podcast to discuss Charlottesville.

Finally, the Imaginative Conservative in review… Michael Cook asks Where Have All Our Working Men Gone?; Jacob Shatzer reminds us Attendance is Not Enough; and Russell Kirk on Edmund Burke, Dispassionately Considered. David Withun explores The Purpose of Poetry through the lens of T.S. Eliot (and there could scarcely be a better way to do so). John Horvat addresses the Charlottesville episode in The Clash of the Hurricane Movements and Mark Malvasi explores William Dean Howells’ Cautionary Tale for Decadent Americans. Tyler Graham on René Girard and the Common Good and Jessica Hooten Wilson on Flannery O’Connor. Dwight Longenecker is bemused by the conduct of smartphone wielding Whirlwind Tourists amid the splendors of Florence, and Paul Krause explores the legacy of Augustine: A Saint for Eternity. Wayne Allen with a Timeless Essay on Romano Guardini’s radical thesis on the Dissolution of Western Culture from the Renaissance and Enlightenment onward, in its eschewal of the mystical corpus christi. And in closing, some verses of Jacob Balde, extemporising on The Author’s Outcry.

We close out This Week in A&L with a superb graphic from our old friend Jeb Hoxadas (whom we know by a different name)…


This Week in the Outer Left

Not much going on this week on the Outer Left. Let’s be honest, when you’ve read one defense of antifa, you’ve read them all… and one too many at that.

Craig Hickman of Social Ecologies had a great post on space exploration and Martian habitation. Part history, part projection, and part fiction review, RTWT if you have any interest in space exploration… which I know you do.

bloody_red_moon_by_sphicx-d4ldci4Even as a teenager it seemed that someday we’d have to discover new resources beyond our own planet which was slowly being depleted through both modernity and our technological progress. When John F. Kennedy spoke through my black and white TV that September day in 1962 I remember the excitement I felt at these words: “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win…”. The rhetoric of difficulty, challenge, and expanding frontiers of the mind seemed to pervade that era, unleashing our imaginations that anything was possible if we put our minds to it. This was the American dream writ large, a utopian dream of endless vistas and challenges to be met, of a need to overcome impossible odds and realize that humanity if it was to continue would need to escape the entropy, decay, and inertia of earth’s gravitational pull, exit the planet and explore the strange wonders of our solar system.

That dream seemed to fade after Kennedy was assassinated, after the long protracted war in Viet Nam, the dark years of Nixon, and the last mission to the moon with Apollo 17 and her crew. Things just seemed to fizzle out, the economy folded into the 70’s and the earth seemed to grown small, mean, and nasty. What happened?

Filed under “right for the wrong reasons”, Jacobin has an interview with Anand Gopal on the enduring disaster of Afghanistan. Leftists are constitutionally incapable of discussing U.S. foreign policy without invoking the boogeyman of ‘neoliberalism’, but otherwise, the analysis is not unsound.

Today in Afghanistan, there is a Taliban insurgency—as well as other insurgencies, including a small ISIS presence—that together are really the most powerful force in the country. Then you have the Afghan government, which is really just a rump state with a network of strongmen or warlords, hundreds upon hundreds of militias, and the Afghan army and police—all of which are being paid for by the United States and its allies, and have been since 2001.

If the United States draws down its funding, the state will collapse. The state is completely propped up by the United States. For that reason, the United States can’t leave. Obama came to this conclusion, and it’s the conclusion Trump has come to — that they can’t leave.

While we here at SM broadly agree, we also hold to the excellent slogan coined by Jim: “Too many Americans have died in order that Afghan girls can be taught how to put a condom on a banana.”


This Week… Elsewhere

Al Fin offers a review of America’s coming coming-apart: Simple Solution to Political Violence in America?

Thrasymachus describes his view on The Nazi Panic, or Brown Scare.

Greg Cochran keeps finding bones to pick with Jared Diamond’s made-for-mainstream analysis: Psychometrics. Cochran notes, wryly:

eyeswow6If Diamond were right (and the tests [for General Intelligence] wrong), there would be tremendous arbitraging opportunities, something like how sabermetrics showed baseball managers how to identify undervalued players. For example, if people from PNG were indeed significantly smarter than the world average, UCLA could develop powerhouse departments, full of likely future Nobelists, at low cost. People would eventually try to look intelligent by putting a bone through their nose. Why hasn’t this happened? Pure stubbornness? Shouldn’t Harvard pre-emptively adopt this policy, in order to stay on top?

Related. Also related.

Zach Kraine has some highly speculative fiction—very highly speculative. Also there: thoughts on America’s new cultural revolution—which is a really good thing to call what’s going on right now. We’ll see if the leftists actually in charge can manage to dial it back. And Kraine also places his hand to some myth-craft: Tomb of the mountain king.

Antidem kicks off his Squirearchy series with a Prologue.

TUJ is dangerously current-eventsy, but we’ll let it slide: Trump’s Speech on Afghanistan—Impressions and a Proposal for De Facto Partition:

Afghanistan has no Nasser for us to phone who enjoys jurisdiction over the whole operation.

Unorthodoxy is keeping the Spirit of Baizuo alive: Baizuo of the Month: ESPN Ascends to Higher Plane of Baizuo Existence. Stupid Koreans… all naming themselves “Lee” ferheavnsakes. Also there White Consumers: Please Take a Hike . Which is pretty golden-goose filling actually.

This was pretty interesting: Gabriel Duquette explains Two types of maps.

Giovanni Dannato scores some key points in The Mechanics of Status. More on that.

Real Gary raises an ice cold piña colada: BBC Dey Gon Down Shitta.

Pop culture correspondent Chris R. Morgan has details on Taylor Swift and the Lost Art of Revenge.

An intriguing project, New Rome, has expanded to the UK.


Well… that’s all we had time for. Many thanks to the Based TWiR staff, without whom this job would be nigh unto impossible: Egon Maistre, Alex Von Neumann, David Grant, Hans der Fiedler, and Aidan MacLear. “Be a lighthouse.” So say we all. Keep on reactin! Til next week: NBS… Over and out!!

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  1. Going to miss Landry.

    Thanks for the links, and thanks for the reading, again.

  2. Ford GT is a damn cool car.

    RIR(etirement) Landry.

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